STORY OF COLONIA

Category: COLONIA

ColoniaV2In 1893,the New York yachtsmen went to Herreshoff with orders for two cup-defence vessels, and he produced Vigilant, centre-board, and Colonia, a keel boat.
Colonia was owned by a syndicate composed of Archibald Rogers, Frederick W. Vanderbilt, William K. Vanderbilt, F. Augustus Schermerhorn, J. Pierpont Morgan, and John E. Brooks.

She was built of steel, and was a racing machine, pure and simple, as were all four boats constructed that year with an eye to cup defence. Her dimensions were: Length overall 124 feet; on the water-line 85 feet; beam 24 feet; draft 14 feet. In type she was an enlarged Wasp. She was the  first strictly keel boat built for cup defense.

ColoniaVigilantThe Herreshoffs have had many successful launchings, but in point of ease and grace the launching or the cup defender Colonia on May 15, 1893 was the most successful that ever took place at the establishment of this noted company.

The Colonia is sailed by the famous skipper "Hank" Haff, who sailed the Volunteer against the Thistle in the cup races of 1887.

The race demonstrated that for cup defence Vigilant was without question the best boat. After a dead heat in the first trial race, Vigilant easily wins the two others. Colonia was not a success. In running and reaching, she was the fastest of the quartet of cup defenders, but in going to windward she fell off badly, 00912Sand was always beaten by the others on this point of sailing. The reason for this was that she had not enough depth of keel. Her draught was a little over fifteen feet. The Vigilant’s draught was twelve feet, with her board up, and twenty-two feet with it down. Good judges claimed that if the Colonia had had a board, she would have beaten the Vigilant. The Herreshoffs did not give her more draught, so they said, because they had not enough water in their yard to launch a deeper boat. It would not have cost much to have dredged, and if they could not dredge she might have been launched with pontons.

Col. Rogers, as soon as he found out her faults tried to get the builders to remedy them, either by giving the yacht more outside lead, or putting in a board. This, the Herreshoffs declined to do.

ColoniaDefenderThe Colonia, however, won the one-thousand-dollar cup offered by Commodore Morgan, through the Vigilant breaking down, and the Goelet Cup. This race was not finished until 2 o'clock in the morning on the day after the race was started.

1894
Colonia not put in commission. Every yachtsman hoped that the Vigilant, Jubilee, Colonia, Navahoe, and Volunteer would furnish lots of good sport, but the Vigi1ant’s going to England spoiled their hopes. The Navahoe has been the only one of the modern boats in commission.

1895
C. Oliver Iselin has chartered the keel boat Colonia at the Rogers syndicate. The new syndicate wanted to charter the Colonia and make some alterations in her in case the new boat should not came up to expections. The Colonia will be used to drill the crew of the new yacht (DEFENDER) until that boat is ready, and then she will be put in racing condition with some few alterations for the cruise and trial races.

June 15, 1895 - Colonia led the fleet and made good time in the Spring regatta of the Larchmont Yacht Club.

00781SJuly 07, 1895 - In her second trial the Defender beats the Colonia badly.

December 22, 1895 - The Colonia has been purchased from the Rogers syndicate by C.A. Postley of the New-York Yacht Club. The price paid is said to be $25,000. Mr. Postley will have the Colonia rigged as a schooner, and will race in the ninety-foot class next season.

1896
A. Cary Smith, who has been so successful in designing schooners, is to have charge of the alterations to be made in the yacht. Changing the rig of the Colonia will not be a very troublesome job, because when the yacht was built the probabilities of it becoming a schooner were taken into consideration and the steps for the fore and main masts were put in. Mr. Smith, however, is going to try and give the yacht more lateral resistence, and is going to put a centreboard in.
February 05, 1896 – The yacht will have new fore and main rigging of crucible cast-steel, and new main and foretopmast gear of steel wire. As much of the old rigging of the yacht will be used as is possible, and some of the old sails will be recut. The new ones will be made by Wilson & Griffin.
01527SThe centreboard will cost about $5,000. The interior of the yacht will be fitted up in a luxurious manner, but as lightly as possible as Mr. Postley intends to race the Colonia in all the events he can. Her first appearance will be in the Spring regatta of the Larchmont Yacht Club. Capt. Charles Barr, master of the Vigilant last year, will be master of the Colonia.

June 12, 1896- The Colonia sailed her first race yesterday as a schooner in the annual regatta of the New-York Yacht Club. Her opponent was the Emerald, J. Rogers Maxwell's crack yacht, and the Emerald won. The race was sailed in a stiff breeze.
NEW-LONDON, Conn., July 8. -- The Colonia won the Banks Cup for schooner here to-day.
July 19, 1896 - COLONIA WON THE RACE; EMERALD BEATEN IN A CLOSE CONTEST AT LARCHMONT
July 26, 1896- END OF THE RACE WEEK; COLONIA WINS THE LAST REGATTA OFF LARCHMONT.
NEWPORT, R.I., Aug. 7. -- Mr. Postley's Colonia won the thousand-dollar cup for shooners given by Ogden Goelet.
August 30, 1896 - THE COLONIA WON THE five-hundred-dollar cup for schooners offered by Commodore H.C. Rouse of the Seawanhaka-Corinthian Yacht Club.
ColoniaSchoonerSeptember 08, 1896 - Colonia Won the $750 Cup Offered by Commodore H.M. Gillig of the Larchmont Yacht Club.

1897 to 1899
The schooner COLONIA yet achieved a great season by winning a few cuts but is often dominated by the schooner Emerald.

1900 to 1902
January 14, 1900 - Commodore Clarence Postley of the Larchmant Yacht Club has sold his schooner Colonia to Lewis Cass Ledyard, the candidate for Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. Colonia is renamed Corona. She was flagship of Commodore L. Cass Ledyard of the New York Yacht Club in 1901-02.
CITY ISLAND, May 28, 1900.— Commodore Lewis Cass Ledyard’s swift schooner yacht Corona, flagship of the New York Yacht Club, has been launched at the Hawkins yards after a thorough overhauling. Her sails will shortly be bent, and she will then be ready for tuning-up spins preparatory to encounters this season with William Iselin's Emerald.

1903 to 1908
01531SMay 03, 1903 - YACHT CORONA SOLD. Lewis Cass Ledyard’s schooner yacht Corona, from which he flew his pennant as Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, in 1901 and 1902, has been sold by Frank Bowne Jones, yacht broker, to another member of the New York Yacht Club. This season she will be used almost exclusively for cruising.
Corona was the top of the heap in the schooner classes in 1904, and fought out the titular honors until the very end of the season in 1905 with F. F. Brewster's Elmina, but she was outbuilt and put out of racing when J. Roger Maxwell's Queen appeared. Arthur F. Luke, her owner, is going abroad this year, and if he can sell Corona, an ideal cruiser, he will build a 90-foot schooner to contend against Queen.

1909
Corona, now owned by Cleveland H. Dodge is in commission this season.

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